The Compass

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Bomb's Away

John Bolton suggests that with Iran's hardliners putting the protests behind them, now is the time for Israel to start dropping bombs. Bolton writes:

Significantly, the uprising in Iran also makes it more likely that an effective public diplomacy campaign could be waged in the country to explain to Iranians that such an attack is directed against the regime, not against the Iranian people. This was always true, but it has become even more important to make this case emphatically, when the gulf between the Islamic revolution of 1979 and the citizens of Iran has never been clearer or wider. Military action against Iran's nuclear program and the ultimate goal of regime change can be worked together consistently.

I really don't understand this line of argument. Lots of Americans protest and march against the U.S. government all the time. There are many people who actively loathe the federal government. Yet, if another nation or terrorist entity blew up the Pentagon or the White House would they suddenly rise up against our government? Would we feel better about the attack because the country doing the bombing reassured us that they were only aiming for the government, not the people?

Moreover, as we learned from Eli Lake in the New Republic this week, U.S. intelligence has very little idea what's going on in Iran. How effective can our public diplomacy be with such a dearth of solid information?